Signals Blog


It’s nice to end the week on a happy note. For a company like CCRM that commercializes regenerative medicine products and therapies, the news that ViaCyte, a company based in San Diego, California, has applied to the FDA to start clinical trials for its Type 1 diabetes treatment is good news for the industry.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. According to JDRF, nearly 26 million Americans, 85 per cent of them adults, have Type 1 diabetes. Around the world, that number increases to more than 371 million and it is expected to grow to 552 million by 2030.

Good luck to ViaCyte and congratulations to our friends at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) for funding this important research to the tune of $39 million.

Our regular feature, Right Turn, showcases the “lighter” side of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Every Friday, we will bring you cartoons, photos, videos and other content that may be just as thought provoking as the written submissions that you are used to finding here, but they definitely won’t be blogs.

As always, we welcome your feedback and we also welcome suitable submissions. Be creative! Use the right (!) side of your brain. Make us laugh! Let’s see if we can make this new direction a positive one for all of us. Send your submission to info(at)

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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.